TOEIC FAQs

TOEIC® FAQ

The TOEIC® (= Test of English for International Communication) is an assessment of the ability to use English in international real-life work situations. It is suitable for intermediate to advanced levels of English (B1 to C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, CEFR, see Correlation table TOEIC® – CEFR) and is the world's most popular English assessment for the workforce. All four language skills are tested: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. With more than 7 million test takers each year, the TOEIC® has become a standard for decision makers worldwide.

The TOEIC® is designed by the biggest independent non-profit organization for didactical assessments ETS (Educational Testing Service, based in Princeton, New Jersey, USA). ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually – including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® and SAT® test – in more than 180 countries. More than 2,800 employees work at ETS's offices throughout the United States and the world. Their professional staff have training and expertise in education, psychology, statistics, psychometrics, computer sciences, sociology, and the humanities. The German office Language & Testing Service (LTS) is located in Berlin.

When you do an exam you are able to prepare for it specifically. As there are minimum requirements you can pass or fail an exam. On the other hand, a test is a way to measure present knowledge, here: your present language skills. Therefore, the TOEIC® is a test.

With its reliable and accurate test scores the TOEIC® is used by employees and university graduates as a valuable and internationally recognized certification of their English skills. Being an independent and external benchmark the TOEIC® is especially useful for applications. Every test result (score report / certificate) comes with an interpretation guide that gives meaningful feedback about a test taker’s strengths and weaknesses in real-world workplace scenarios.

There are two modules measuring different skills. Each module can be completed on its own.

1. TOEIC® Listening and Reading

This test measures the candidate’s English listening and reading skills from lower intermediate up to advanced levels. It is a paper-and-pencil test which takes approx. 2.5 hours, consisting of 200 questions. Each part (listening and reading comprehension) is assessed separately. Questions are based on real-world workplace scenarios. The listening tasks include four English accents (Canadian, British, North American and Australian English).

2. TOEIC® Speaking and Writing

This is an online test which measures the test taker’s English speaking and writing skills from intermediate to advanced levels of English. The test takes 80 minutes and includes typical everyday situations at the workplace. Each part (speaking and writing) is assessed separately. Criteria for the final grade are pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and fluency in speech. In the writing part vocabulary and grammar are evaluated as well as text composition, structure and logical text construction.

The TOEIC® Speaking and Writing is a complement to the TOEIC® Listening and Reading. Both modules thus provide a profound assessment of all four language skills.

3. TOEIC® 4 Skills

The TOEIC® 4 Skills is composed of the two above mentioned modules and thus offers a common standard of measurement for all four language skills.